The Virginia State Board for Community Colleges has voted to increase tuition $1.50 per credit hour for the 23 schools in the state's community college system, including Northern Virginia Community College.
The approval on Tuesday of the increase means tuition will rise from $29.80 per credit hour to $31.30 for the 1991-92 school year. Richard J. Ernst, president of the Northern Virginia system, said a $1.20 per credit hour tuition surcharge is already in effect.
Students had asked for a $3 increase in tuition to prevent a reduction in classes, faculty members and supplies after Gov. L. Douglas Wilder announced in August that he would cut 5 percent from the state education budget.
"During these times of fiscal concern, we're having to add a surcharge to make ends meet," Ernst said.
Ernst said he doesn't expect any decline in student enrollment because of the increase. When the $1.20 surcharge took effect, enrollment increased 6 percent. He said enrollment at NOVA is projected to rise from 57,000 during the 1989-90 school year to 59,000 this spring.
The five NOVA campuses account for more than one-third of all spending in the state's system and admit more than a quarter of its students.
The surcharge will save the college from additional layoffs or cuts in its summer program, Ernst said.
Students at the Northern Virginia colleges, many of whom are part time, take an average of six credit hours, Ernst said.
Some students interviewed yesterday said that the increase would not deter them from attending school and they hoped the added funds would be used to buy equipment and supplies.
"The main reason should be for books and supplies, computers," said Yaz Yazicioglu, an accounting student at the Annandale campus.
"I didn't think it's that bad, considering what four-year colleges are charging," nursing student Zoie Merkel said of the increase.
Other students disagreed.
"It's crazy, it's just too much money," said Danny Mundy, whose wife, Mildred, is studying business administration. "Pretty soon it's going to cost us as much money to go to a big college. It's not fair."